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  1. #1
    ... Brittain's Avatar
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    First Major Upgrade to Bike (Graphic Pictures Included)

    To get to the point in a timely manner, I decided to take my 2007 Specialized Globe City 7.1 and convert it to a touring bike/commuter-bike-with-drop-bars.

    I don't have a before picture (got too overzealous in the demolition of it to concern myself with that), so here is the catalog picture:



    I decided to keep the linear pull brakes and stick with the MTB gearing, so my only good option was to use bar-end shifters and Tektro linear pull brake levers (there are other options, but this fit the bill at the right price). I also needed drop bars and tape. I decided to support my LBS by ordering the shifters and levers there for a total of just under $150 (bar-end shifters are stupidly expensive).

    For the bar and tape I decided to cheap out a little since I wanted to keep the project under $200, so I ordered the cheapest Maes bend bar I could find from Jenson USA. For the tape I went with Bike Ribbon since I had seen some positive reviews about them on the forums.

    Well... an interesting (READ: really stupid on my part) thing happened. I haven't ordered from Jenson since 2007... when I didn't live at my current address... or even in my current state. Luckily, I noticed this fact. Un-luckily, I noticed this fact only AFTER I ordered these parts with my old address in Texas on file at Jenson. So here I was, ready to go, and my bar and tape were sitting in Denton, TX, just a few hundred miles away from me. To make a long story short, I made contact with the person living at my old apartment and found out she had left it out for the mailman since it wasn't hers and I can only assume it was mailed back to Jenson eventually. I contacted Jenson with this information and asked them to check if the package had been returned. I was prepared to pay for them to reship it, but instead the customer service rep said he would just send it out again to the correct address. He mentioned something about how he knew that it can be confusing when people check out, but what he wasn't saying that he wanted to is that checking out can be confusing for people that will one day end up winning a Darwin Award. I have to say that I was left with a real appreciation for the customer service of Jenson after this, though. I'll definitely be ordering from them again.

    So... parts finally in. Wanna see some pictures? Okay! (P.S. My camera broke recently when I was recreating scenes from classic literature with Duplos for my son. True story. These pictures were taken with my video camera and that's why they kind of suck)

    Attachment 219372
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    So I started throwing it all together last Wednesday and got this far:

    Attachment 219363

    Pretty awesome, right?

    I ended up attaching the bars without hooking up the cables on Friday and took it for a test ride. I knew I didn't have brakes, which was fine... but forgot that my parking lot has a slight descent in it, so I got to Fred Flintstone it as I headed back to my condo. No harm done, just another lapse of... using my brain.

    Finally on Saturday I was able to attach the cables and get it all set up for the final step: wrapping the bar tape. This was honestly the part that I was most intimidated by, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

    Attachment 219370
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    You'll notice that at the base of the left brake lever there is some electrical tape (see last picture above). This was a result of not cutting the short piece of bar tape that goes behind the brake lever to length ahead of time. I ended up cutting it down then wrapping tape around it to make it look better. Still looks like crap, but this was the only part of the wrap job that didn't go well, so I'm still quite pleased with how I did. Having the adhesive on the back of the wrap certainly made it much easier (I'll use this same kind of tape again in the future, probably).

    Here is the obligatory shot of the complete bike (with the San Francisco Peaks in the background!):

    Attachment 219371

    Note: Most of this upgrade was for the sake of converting the bike into a touring bike and to get the benefits of different hand positions that come with having drop bars. I also happen to think drop bars are more aesthetically pleasing. The point I'm getting at here is that if you don't think my bike looks "hawt" now, that's fine. But it wasn't supposed to be that kind of an upgrade, necessarily. (I happen to like how it looks, but don't feel compelled to like it also).

    So... final total was around $205 (just barely busted the budget, but the wife will get over it with time). Much cheaper than a Long Haul Trucker. If my aluminum frame ever dies I'll just buy the LHT frame and transfer everything over.

    In conclusion:



    Cross-posted in Commuting.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    So how do you like the feel of the bike now with the new bars and bar ends?

  3. #3
    ... Brittain's Avatar
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    I am adjusting to it. These are my first drop bars, and they definitely handle differently than my flat bars did. The bar-cons are also going to be an interesting adjustment, but I'm thinking I can survive and adapt to it just fine (eventually).

    I mentioned this in my cross-post in the Commuting forum, but one possibility I am looking at for the future is swapping out the stem for an adjustable one (drop it for when I'm feeling like being aerodynamic, raise it for relaxing rides). Does anyone have any opinions on this?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I am not a huge fan of those because when you raise the bars, you also adjust the reach, and so on. But if you do get an adjustable stem, get a good one. The crummy ones get loose and floppy over time (personal experience).

  5. #5
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    well done.

  6. #6
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    surly LHT, paris sport fixie, trek 5000, fuji ss
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    Nice job...

    BUT...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brittain View Post
    To get to the point in a timely manner
    FAIL

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